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Privacy rights not absolute, says Centre in Delhi HC

“Such requirements are only in case when a particular message is required for prevention, investigation or punishment of serious offences such as sexually explicit content,” the Centre said. 

Published: 27th May 2021 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2021 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi high court, Delhi HC

Delhi High Court (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Responding to WhatsApp’s petition in the Delhi High Court, the Centre on Wednesday said it respects the citizens’ right to privacy and that it has no intention to violate it when seeking the origin of a particular message.

“Such requirements are only in case when a particular message is required for prevention, investigation or punishment of serious offences such as sexually explicit content,” the Centre said. It, however, noted that as per established judicial dictum, no fundamental right, including the right to privacy, is absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions.

It added that the requirement for instant messaging  platforms to disclose the first originator of a particular information is a reasonable restriction. Meanwhile, the Centre on Wednesday asked large social media platforms to report their status of compliance with the new digital rules. 

The new rules require large social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.  



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